I read this as a two-for-one book. Both stories are separate but connected through the penpal letters of each of the main characters.
Sincerely, Sophie // by Courtney Sheinmel (2010)
In this book, we meet Sophie. She’s entering sixth grade, and her class takes part in a nation-wide penpal program. That’s how she meets Katie (from all the way out in California). But instead of telling Katie what it’s like living in New York City, she starts to pour out her worries and fears to this new friend. But what she won’t tell Katie is the worst fear of all. That her parents are getting a divorce!
Divorce books make me sad. I can handle one every now and then, but I had trouble with this one. Not because of the topic. I think it’s more that I’ve read several books featuring this topic already. On the other hand, in this one, Sophie refuses to give her father the time of day after he moves out, and I fully empathized with her! (Maybe it was just all the emotional energy I felt while reading the book!)
What I did like is the relationship between Sophie and her little sister. And I like how the relationship with the dad is restored to a certain extent. (Although, I’m still kind of angry at the dad for leaving in the first place!!!) [3 stars]
Sincerely, Katie // by Courtney Sheinmel (2010)
This time, we get to meet Katie! We already know a little about Katie from the first book. In this book, the story here revolves around a big community project that Katie organizes after she hears about an earthquake in Mexico. When her friend Jake starts paying attention to another girl, Katie gets a little jealous. She starts to do some things that she later regrets (like lying to the other girl about Jake!)
Of course, there’s still the pen pal thing going on and Katie and Sophie continue to exchange letters. And in this book, we also get to see Sophie and Katie meet. [*slight SPOILER] I did expect a little more to that meeting, but it wasn’t as crucial to the plot as you could imagine. [end Spoiler]
Overall, I did like the book. I definitely like the pen pal angle. [3 stars]
Have you read either of these books? What did you think?
*Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…